Syracuse University is mourning a graduate film student who returned to his homeland of Syria to document the country's uprising. Bassel Al Shahade, 28, was killed while filming attacks by government forces in the embattled city of Homs, reports the Post-Standard. Associates say Shahade, a Fulbright scholar, was a well-known activist even before the Syrian uprising began 15 months ago, and felt compelled to help the resistance.
"He said: 'I have to be with my people. I can't be here with what's going on in Syria,'" a Syracuse film professor says. "He was very brave and willing to take the risk. He wanted the story told of what was happening in his country." A friend of Shahade's says he was in the town of Houla over the weekend to film the aftermath of the massacre of at least 108 people. In response to that violence, the US and almost a dozen other countries, including Britain, France, Italy, and Germany, have expelled Syrian diplomats.